From galoshes to glamorous

As the recession rages and season changes, millions prepare for fall fashion. The Gramblinite contacted Jeannie Mai, the host of E! Entertainment Television’s hit show How Do I Look? for insight about the industry, her life and style tips.

How Do I Look? participants are usually selected after a friend or family member complained about their offensive appearance.
Participants often plead for and occasionally shed tears to keep their unattractive attire. Icky garb is sucked up the “Ew tube” into what Mai she calls a deserving “hot mess hell.”

A daughter of a Vietnamese immigrant, Mai learned the importance of hard work and motivating others.

“I’m obsessed with encouraging young women to put their natural talents into their career choice,” she says.

Not to say that talent and spunk can’t coexist. Her style often juxtaposes minimalist chic attire and her blue streaked, face-framing follicles.

Although some believe that style is a superficial playground for the aesthetically obsessed, Mai isn’t solely focused on the beautification of America’s faces and wardrobes.

“My faith (inspires me). The talents I have are gifts.

“The people I love are angels and the problems I’ve had are blessings,” Mai says.
“Remembering this makes me want to live brighter each day.”

Mai’s on screen charisma conveys an ability to be firm, but sensitive and of-the-moment, but not imposing.

She is a relatable personality in the world of all things pretty, or en route to becoming so.

A haute hustler? The former MAC makeup artist turned fashion correspondent has painted the faces of Kelly Osbourne, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera.

But before the bright lights, directors and makeovers condensed to a televised hour, she was an eccentric child, ready to reveal her individuality.

“I’ll never forget the time my mom dressed me up for my first day of school,” says Mai.
“We decided my first day color had to be a powerful purple.

“So she helped me throw on my purple and grey plaid jumper with my fave tee underneath that spelled ‘J-E-A-N-N-I-E’ in bold black letters, funky fresh pink fishnet stockings, and glossy purple rubber galoshes.”

After relentless teasing throughout the school day and receiving the nickname ” Jeannie Weanie Wild,” Mai complained to her mother about letting her leave the house in the risky ensemble.

Her mother told her in Vietnamese, ‘I did not raise you to be somebody without an identity,’ she says.

While she is identifiable as one of the few visible Asian faces in the industry, she says that she doesn’t believe in making herself aware of barriers, racial or otherwise.

“I want to launch a nationwide tour, where I will visit junior high and high schools with a team of professional female entrepreneurs and experts to give these young women the proper guidance to build their careers of choice,” she says.

Check out www.IHeartJeannieMai.com for more information and follow Jeannie Mai on Twitter.

Fashion Tip
n Invest in brown and black flat, knee high boots.
“You’ll LOVE wearing ’em over leggings, jeans, and even with sweater dresses to keep warm and look chic,” said Jeannie Mai.